May 25, 2024
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May 25, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Jewish Literacy and Assimilation

I wish to applaud Dr. Wallace Greene on his recent series of articles on Jewish literacy. They should not be simply forgotten or ignored. The Jewish people are being slaughtered by massive assimilation and intermarriage due to a lack of Jewish education and literacy. Every serious Jew is obligated to do whatever he can to strengthen the Jewish identity of Jews who are within our reach or outside our reach. We can invite our neighbors, co-workers or relatives for a Shabbos meal, Pesach Seder or give them a gift of a basic book on Judaism, or buy them a mezuzah or invite them to the Shabbos Challah Bake. We can support NCSY or Chabad on campuses or Aish HaTorah or so many educational institutions geared to the “not yet frum.” My employer at work, when he is on the phone doing business, whether with a Jew or gentile, and he is asked, “How are you?” his only answer is “Thank God.” We should all model ourselves after him.

Unfortunately, the problem is not only with the 80-90 percent of our people who are not Torah observant. We all know that too many of our own have fallen off the “derech,” or are not feeling inspired, or simply follow the mitzvos mechanically but are quite superficially or almost culturally religious. We must in every way fortify ourselves from within. Our Shabbos tables should be filled with meaningful conversations and include a word of Torah, perhaps a Shabbos song. Parents should work with their children at every age discussing their Torah studies in school. We should invite our friends to study with us.

“If I care only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?”

Martin Polack
Teaneck
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